Category: Health

Nakd Bars Jamie Combs Interview

Jamie Combs is the man who brought the World Nakd Bars. An awesome whole food treat that I get stuck into any time I’m in the UK. This is one of my favorite Rich Eats interviews to date!

(Nakd bars are basically Nuts, Dates and then a whole food ingredient for taste like Cacao, cacao and orange oil, mint oil…)

We are talking whole foods, food manufacturers, processed foods, Zen masters, foodies – all kinds of things come up! Get stuck in… By the way, look out for the ‘Bastardization of the Orange’ story – I LOVE that one.

PS. I am proud to say I have been crowned a ‘Nakd Person’

New Years Evolution – OF YOUR MOUTH!

Re-train your mouth.

“WOAH!! Steady there boy, sit.. sit… NO, stop eating that muffin!”

Well, I guess if you’re talking you’re not eating a muffin… theoretically.

This is the deal. Years and years of abusing your tongue has led to a bit of a, let’s say problem. Take person ‘A’ who eats Kelloggs Special K with skimmed milk for breakfast, drinks one diet or full sugar drink (soda / cordial), a couple of Haribos (candy) here and there, or even a ‘be good to yourself’ biscuit.

Person ‘B’ (en el otro mano) eats a protein & fat breakfast (like mine this morning Salmon steak, avocado and some almonds with some omega 3 fish oil from sardines and mackerel), fixes their sweet tooth with cacao powder, frozen banana and coconut water smoothies, and has been conditioning their taste buds with real food.  Avoiding artificial sweeteners like a fish avoids land (and fish farms).

Cut a farmers market pink grapefruit in half and give it to A and B.  Person ‘A’ is likely to have a HORRIBLE time eating that thing… Because of how their taste buds and body perceives ‘sweet’ to be in comparison and contrast to their ‘normal’, That half a pink grapefruit is going to taste SO sour. Person B on the other hand is going to notice the bitterness though it is going to be a satisfying and nourishing eat that leave them feeling refreshed.

Person ‘A’s taste buds (and hormones) have been screwed with so much by artificial and refined sweetness that, when aligned with nature (a piece of fruit) their reference for ‘sweet’ is completely out of touch.  And this is GREAT for cereal manufacturers, soda companies because they have trained us to desire their sweetness. Oh no!

 

Perhaps 2013 is the year you realign your taste buds with what sweet actually is. Oh, and this is definitely going to help you reaching your fat burning goals, quality of thought and mood (yes this helps in all relationships too), work, longevity and pretty much everything else!

What to do to realign your taste buds and experience all of the fat loss and mood enhancing side effects? Remove artificial sweeteners and refined sugar on a set time and date (now is always a great time and date). Set yourself a goal of 2 weeks, during which write down any cravings you get and the time of day (your phone is good place to vent the cravings), let those cravings go.

Tips on how to survive this?

1) P + F is the formula.

Eat  a protein and fat breakfast (eggs, spinach and brazil nuts / Salmon & Avocado. This will help set the pace of your cravings for the day.

2) Eat more.

Add an extra meal to your day (see point one above for type of meal. (yes all of my meals are a rotation of different proteins, fats and veg/salad/fruit)

3) Replace the sweetness with a higher quality alternative.  The key is something that is nutrient dense. Aim for the most nutrients for the least sugar. Like farmers market or organic berries.

4) Hot drinks.

For hot drinks like tea or coffee (always organic) learn to appreciate the actual taste of the food.  When you pile sugar, sweetener and milk in there it’s highly likely that you are drinking primarily for stimulants.  That’s another post entirely though acknowledge that then figure out how to get the best stimulants with the most nutrients – e.g Matcha green tea, other types of green tea, other teas (see what I’m getting at here…) or organic black coffee.

5) Green juice (+ fibre)

I mean the real stuff and with the fibre. See this video for more. It will help you. It WILL help you.

6) Empty your cupboards.

Don’t buy artificially sweet foods. Don’t have them in the house (and kids especially don’t need them either).  Keep them away because the temptation can and probably will be too much!

Robb Wolf gives a great comparison for staying away from the temptation of ‘bad foods’ by not putting them in the house. He brings in the monogamy metaphor, saying most people feel like that can be monogamous, exchanging the excitement of dating for different exciting experiences.  Though, he says, perhaps this monogamy (irrelevant of sex or sexual orientation) would perhaps be a little tricky if you were drunk/in an alternate state and dropped off at the Playboy mansion (substitue Playboy mansion for dinner with ‘friend from work’, business trip etc…).  Sugar, sweeteners and refined carbs are just like this because they stimulate the same receptors in the brain as heroin or morphine! *Side note, in a money making sense – what an ‘AWESOME’ product to sell!.  Get that stuff out of the house! 

In the past more than now, I’ve fallen for this one a good few times before – the refined carbs cravings that is. A seemingly holy bar of organic 85% dark chocolate (without soy lecithin) was sitting so peacefully and perfectly in the cupboard, until I gave in like a heroin addict and ate half the bar!

I repeat: Get that stuff out of the house! 

Ps. Expect a hellish first few days, then see how much easier it gets and how much better foods begin to taste. AND how your mood gets more stable and everything is going to be more than OK…

 

Making one? New Years Resolution (with extras)

Thank you 2012, you were beautiful. Bring on 2013 for more and increased awesomeness.

 

You’ve probably already thought of a millions things to focus on, develop, enhance or change in 2013.  Well, here are 12 tips. The first one is going to help you stick to your new year’s resolution, the other 11 are inspiring ideas to enhance your training and eating experience.

1) New Years resolution.

Making a Change? So it turns out that making a declaration on it’s own doesn’t actually work. The plans you make for the change is the key. What plans do you need to make? According to the awesome Jade Teta from Metabolic Effect these are the 5 key things:

1. Understand how your brain works. Humans are not very good multitasks. The more you do, the more confused you become and in this confused state you default back to old behavior. One thing at a time is key.

2. Bringing in bit of Jim Rohn, the Brain needs a strong why? Why change? Why spend more time with your family? Why earn more money? Why travel more? Why is the energy, the fuel behind the change. write down why you are doing it.

3. What are you going to do? If you want to gain some muscle and lose some fat, what are you going to do? Hire a Personal trainer? Join a bootcamp? Re-start a sport you used to love but got too busy to play? Martial arts (fitness, fat loss and learning a form of defense and increased confidence). What are you going to do?

4. When are you going to do it? When do you start? Now is always a good time. But really, when is now a good time? 1st January? Set a date and commit to it. And, more specifically, when are you going to go (continual)

5. How is it going to happen?

This is about obstacles. Predicting then clearing and overcoming obstacles.  Let’s take training as the example, because it’s very relevant. By training session number 3 you might be aching and need to slightly alter your workout. Know that you are going to be aching and that you can find something to train that doesn’t ache. (if the pain is severe see your trainer then your doctor if necessary).

Plan in your diary, like an appointment when you are going to train and keep that appointment with yourself.  Pack your training gear the night before and put it by your keys. Buy extra training gear and leave it in the office or in your car so you always have it.  And remember the first few minutes of training often the toughest.

2) Do what you love.

Whatever your goal there is a way to burn fat, gain fat, gain muscle, increase your VO2 max, tighten your abs, increase your ‘booty’ size, trim your waist… that you will enjoy. If you currently do not enjoy your training then look beyond your gym, even if it is a different gym.

3) You are so sweet (and it’s making me fat).

Refined sugar and sugar in it’s altered states is an ingredient that will not help you loose fat. And, it will not give you long term stable energy levels. Become aware of your refined sugar intake.

4) Understand the label.

If you don’t understand the words on the label do not put it in your mouth… (Seek first to understand). Would you blindly pick one of the petrol (gas) pumps and start filling your car? Ha! Probably not unless you were loco. Would you grab any cologne/perfume from the shop and buy and use it without knowing the smell? Probably not! (ingredients on body products I’m saving for another time… oh yes there is a world of wildness we daily rub into your body too).  Pick up, sign a contract for and use a random phone or computer you’ve not actually looked into – Probably not!

Grab something that looks like food/liquid, something that we are told is food and eat it? Most people do this every day! Wild, wild times!

3b) Where does the key ingredient sit in the ingredients list? If it is chocolate for example you should be looking for ‘Cacao’ to be as high up in the list as possible and for there to be as few other ingredients as possible.

5) Ignore those voices.

(for now, I don’t mean the ones in your head) I mean the voices of those people around that project their own ‘situation’ on to your life. They don’t know you. I don’t know you. You know you (for the most part). Find out the reality of your situation and your own goals for health and fitness and find out how to do it. ‘”e become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn. Learn to selectively ignore opinions and people. And, likewise, learn to surround yourself with the people who are best for your life actualization.

6) Get tested.

Yes that kind of tested and… If you think you might be overweight and eating too much sugar, go and get your blood tested for diabetes. It’s OK, just go an do it and then take the next step from there.

7) Go Caveman.

Relatively speaking grains, wheat, gluten & legumes were only recently introduced into our diets. And it turns out they are not conducive to a creating healthy human being. There are proteins in those food that wreak havoc on our digestive system. Take a month off and see how you feel. (Thanks Robb Wolf and Dr. Loren Cordain)

8) Fart lots?

Maybe it’s time to test your tolerance to lactose. Take 21 days off and see how your digestion, farting and energy levels change… when you take it out of your diet remember you will need to replace it with something like lots of green veg (for calcium) and eggs for breakfast (yes the whole egg).  Don’t fart much?  It’s a great test to do anyway to see how and if your energy levels increase.  Especially if you are reading this from the USA, your milk and dairy products are perhaps the most processed and highest in sugar the world has ever seen.

9) Added sugar? Put it back!

Really. Ingredients with the letters ‘ose’ at the end are a type sugar (dextrose, lactose, fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, amongst others). This means that they will release energy very quickly and, generally speaking, if not used through training or in other ways they will be stored as fat. The other issues are that the sugars are often man-made and hence even more detrimental to our health.  Our mental and physical health can take a serious battering when we eat those sugars listed above. (Artificial sweeteners are not the answer either! It’s a given that we avoid them).  If you have a sweet tooth go for something like raw organic honey which actually has some nutrients, though is still not advisable as part of a fat loss program.

10) Life – for best results live without gluten.

Challenge yourself? Try it for a month and tell me how you feel… then continue…

11) A long list?

How long is the ingredient list? In a packet and contains more than 5 or 6 ingredients? Then it is probably not worth eating.

12) Taste it.

Some of us drink it every day without any respect for the actual taste, merely focusing on the fact that it wakes your face up and make getting on with the day tolerable.  The taste of your tea or coffee is DIRECTLY influenced by the quality of the water used. That means if you’re in London or LA and getting tea or coffee from a high street chain store you are probably getting a low quality water high in fluoride and other chemicals. When I steep tea I always use bottled or filtered water. It makes a huge difference.

12b) Different temperatures for different teas.

Different teas need different steeping temperatures and times. Fact. Imagine taking a pice of bread (not that we would right!?) and putting it in a toaster on full power, then when it pops we put it in again, and again and again. How do you think it is going to taste? Pretty bad. Same thing with tea. Green teas for example need a water temperature from between 50C and 90C (celsius). so when your high street chain cafe bar tortures your tea back in boiling water you are effectively getting ‘burnt toast’.

 

Thank you 2012, you were beautiful. Bring on 2013 for more and increased awesomeness.

The ‘hippies’ are right! DEC12

Get over it AND get IN to it! Veg works… click like and tweet!

PS. Obesity rates amongst kids decline’s in the USA. Something is working! Keep going! Yes!

Day 7 – Home or Hotel Workout for you

I know, I know, it’s a little tougher to motivate yourself when you are on the road of without gym… but, I’m going to guess you still brush you teeth?

Check out these movements for you potential home/hotel workout:

Remember you can adapt the movements to your level and ability – Push-ups can be knee pushups. Burpees can be step out burpees…

Enjoy this!

Day 4 Nutrient Dense Dessert

Cacao Beans, Goji Berries, Almond Butter and dates… This is a nutrient dense dessert or snack! It tastes phenomenal (all together) and can be fun if you get your guests to eat it blindfolded and with their hands!

Do What You Love (Tip 3, December 3rd)

Training in the gym, lifting weights, hill sprints and squats (etc) are all awesome for developing your body in different ways though you know the key thing to achieving the physique and peace of mind you want? It is to LOVE what you’re doing. That way it will be sustainable. There are a million ways to develop your body and train your mind. Find the ways you love and enjoy them…

Those of you out there loving what you’re doing – that’s awesome! If you’re not sure if you like the gym or go because you think you have to – maybe try something different?

Eat (from) Your Farmer – Tip 1 from

Replace your advent calendar with these tips! Yes! Or, get an 85% or more organic, soy free, dark chocolate advent calendar and watch these with it!

Buying from your farmers market means your food will be fresher, more reasonably prices, the farmer gets paid directly and there will be less miles on your food – everyone’s a winner (almost… sorry supermarkets this one excludes you)

(Clicking like and share is almost always a good thing – thanks!)

What if money did not matter?

This is absolutely not about training & fat burning and at the same time it is EXACTLY about training & fat burning, and feeling amazing! (which by the way helps fat burning and creating a healthy life)

I want you to feel amazing!

Inspired by my good friend Jamie Smart

Exclusive (written) Interview with Ross Enamait of ‘Ross Training’

3 clap push-ups, ‘triple-unders’, 335lb (152kg) bench press, an 84 year old doing gymnastics and ultimate conditioning and strength training. Just some of the things you’re going to be exposed to here!

I was introduced to this gent a few years ago by my great friend Tom Baxter, and finally, this week, I had the privilege of interviewing Ross…

As a taster for you, this is one of my favorite quotes from the interview:

“I know plenty of people who will read every review they can find before committing to an electronics purchase. They will spend hours researching phones, cameras, and computers. They do so while snacking on processed crap filled with ingredients that only a chemist could pronounce.

Why not invest as much energy into researching viable nutritional options? Unlike an electronics purchase, you cannot refund your body. Take care of it the first time around.

If you want to know why I interviewed Ross check out this video of him training then, when you’ve picked your jaw up from the floor, read on to get an insight into his training and life philosophy, which is as admirable as his physical performance.

The ‘Ross Training’ Interview

Ross, you’re a beast. Your strength and agility is incredible! Understanding that everyone has different fueling requirements, what is a typical day of food and beverage for you?

“Thanks for the kind words, although I don’t consider myself special. I believe we are all capable of much more than we realize. I just like to push the envelope in hopes of finding out how far I can go. In doing so, hopefully I can motivate others to do the same.

As for diet, I do not follow any specific plans. I’m not a fan of micro-managing the process of eating. Life is already too short. I don’t need to analyze each morsel that enters my mouth. I’m all for common sense. As a result, I tend to eat real food, meaning that it once flew, grew, swam or walked. I stay away from most of the man-made, processed crap that fills most supermarket shelves.

As for beverages, water is my first choice. I’ll often add fresh lemon or lime for flavor. I also enjoy fresh raw milk.

As for meals, I typically eat a large breakfast and dinner. In between, I eat when I can, depending on what I am doing in the gym. I have a big appetite though so I do eat a lot throughout each 24 hour block.”

(Image below is Ross in the middle of a 3 clap push up – do the maths…)

In your professional opinion what’s the one thing we can do to help inspire better eating for kids?

“Parents need to lead from the front and become better role models. If more parents lived healthy and active lives, there would be more children who followed suit. I say this as a father to two healthy children. My kids imitate what they see me do. They eat what I eat and they are regulars in the gym. That is the lifestyle they were born into. It is all they have ever known.

It is also worth pointing out that kids don’t do their own grocery shopping. As a parent, it is my job to provide for and raise my children. It is not anyone else’s responsibility. My kids eat what we buy for them. There is not a team meeting to negotiate the grocery list each week. We as parents decide what foods come into the home. We eat healthy so the kids naturally do so as well.”

What sparked your passion and got you into training at such a supreme level? (And how do you motivate yourself to continue ‘growing’)

“I’ve been involved in athletics since my early childhood so training has always been a way of life. I’ve never been a fan of motivational tips or strategies however. I believe passion is much more powerful than motivation. Once you are passionate about achieving something, the motivation to pursue such passions will already be present.

Many people make the mistake of looking outward for motivation. Unfortunately, motivation that comes from watching someone else will typically be short lived. True motivation comes from within. Rather than looking outward for motivation, it makes more sense to look inward in hopes of finding your true passion.
I am passionate about my training. I love the rush, the challenge, the hard work, and the planning. I never view my training with a job-like mentality. It’s all fun to me. If I wasn’t enjoying myself, I wouldn’t be doing it. I wake up excited to better myself as well as the athletes I train. Motivation is never lacking. My passion continues to burn as strong as ever.”

(Inspirational photo from a video on Ross’s website. This is an 84 year old lady performing a gymnastic routine. The image is of her holding herself still in this position)

What makes you angry about the food industry in the USA?

“There are bad apples in each industry. If I became angry with every crooked business, I would have a miserable life. So while there are certainly practices that I don’t agree with from the food industry, I don’t allow their actions to influence my behavior and attitude.

Consider the automobile industry for a related example. There are plenty of crooked used car salesmen. Their existence does not make me angry. It simple reiterates the importance of putting in your due diligence before making a purchase.

The same logic applies to our food. No one forces us to eat particular foods. We are able to pick and choose whatever we like. So yes, there is deception in the industry and that is a problem. Perhaps a bigger problem however is the fact that so many educated adults pay so little attention to what they consume.

I know plenty of people who will read every review they can find before committing to an electronics purchase. They will spend hours researching phones, cameras, and computers. They do so while snacking on processed crap filled with ingredients that only a chemist could pronounce.

Why not invest as much energy into researching viable nutritional options? Unlike an electronics purchase, you cannot refund your body. Take care of it the first time around.”

Best 3 body weight workout moves for people on the road?

“Bodyweight exercise is unique when compared to other modalities such as free weights. With bodyweight exercise, it is impossible to provide universal recommendations for exercise selection as individual ability must first be considered. For example, handstand pushups are a tremendous exercise but there are plenty of relatively fit adults who cannot perform the exercise. Therefore, while some may enjoy the movement, it doesn’t offer much value to an individual who isn’t able to perform a single repetition.

This isn’t a knock against bodyweight exercise, but it is a unique factor that must be considered. The best movements for a particular person will depend on their ability. An individual who can perform advanced bodyweight movements probably will not spend a lot of time with a basic exercise such as a traditional pushup. The novice however has plenty to gain from a few basic movements such as pushups, pull-ups, squats, etc.

Therefore, the best answer to this question will be one that begins with an “it depends” statement.”

(2 fingered pull-ups by 60 year old man)

2 top tips for someone looking to enhance their life through training though doesn’t know where to start?

“Perhaps the best bit of advice is to start. Don’t get lost in paralysis by analysis. Many beginners get lost looking for the perfect program without realizing that such a program doesn’t exist.

Training is like many things in life. We all learn by doing. No one starts on day one with all of the answers. Anyone who has trained for any significant amount of time can look back and laugh at some of the things they once did. It is all part of the process.

I would also add that you can succeed with almost any program. Your success or failure doesn’t depend on what tools or exercises you use. Almost anything will work if you are willing to work and remain consistent with your efforts. How you do what you do matters more than what you do. If you are willing to work hard on a regular basis, expect to improve. There are success stories from people who have trained with just about anything, including nothing but their own bodyweight.”

The best training methods for burning fat?

“I wouldn’t say there is a single best method for burning fat as dietary considerations are typically more relevant. You can’t out-train a bad diet. If you eat and drink too much, you aren’t going to lose fat, regardless of what you do in the gym.

I’d also add that even if there was a preferred method for fat loss, one shouldn’t put all of their eggs into a single basket. For example, suppose I say that interval training can be useful for fat loss. That doesn’t mean everyone should go out and perform intervals every day of the week.

Therefore, perhaps the best method is a multifaceted approach. Training and diet should work together, not against each other. The week should also be balanced. Don’t overlook strength training in place of conditioning and vice versa. Both are important.

Using myself as an example, my week includes plenty of strength work along with plenty of conditioning. I train from head to toe. There isn’t a single method that I focus on solely. I integrate a variety of principles and modalities throughout the week.”

What are you grateful for?

“I am grateful to be alive. Life is a gift and tomorrow is never promised. I don’t take anything for granted. I hug my kids every day and try to make the most of my life each day that I have.”

Rich Eats: Cheers Ross! Thanks for giving your insights here, see you in the near future!

When you check out Ross’s site I think his page on ‘Age Related’ training is the most inspiring and the first go to page! Check it out here!

If you like this click at the top of the page now, if you have twitter click the tweet button too!